You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

William Panzer, 64, producer

Filmmaker worked on 'Highlander' franchise

William Panzer, producer of the “Highlander” franchise, died of an aneurysm Sunday in Boise, Idaho. He was 64.

Panzer teamed with producer Peter Davis when he moved to Los Angeles in 1976, and Davis-Panzer Productions went on to produce more than 20 films, including Sam Peckinpah’s final film “The Osterman Weekend” in 1983, “Death Collector” with Joe Pesci, “Stunts” and “Freeway.”

Davis-Panzer started a successful franchise with the 1986 “Highlander,” about an immortal Scottish warrior locked in a centuries-long death match. “Highlander” eventually spawned four sequels, three TV series and a videogame. Panzer also contributed to the screenplays for three of the “Highlander” films.

Since 1982, Panzer had been a familiar figure at the Cannes Film Festival, where he was known for his dapper style and sense of humor. “Bill was one of the original independent film producers,” says his longtime business partner Davis. “He was not always the easiest of men, but he was the best of men.”

“Bill was a vibrant presence and a very popular attendee at ‘Highlander’ conventions where he made himself completely available to everyone, mingling with the fans ,” says Highlander Worldwide Fan Club president Carmel MacPherson.

Panzer was born in New York and attended Princeton U. before attending NYU Film School. He produced his first film, the 1968 docu “Mexican Anticipation” featuring Duke Ellington while at NYU, and then partnered in New York TV commercial company Phos Cine Productions before moving to L.A.

He was a member of BAFTA and the Television Academy.

Panzer is survived by his wife Priscilla.

A memorial service will be held April 15. 

Donations may be made to a scholarship fund in his name at the Lawrenceville School in Princeton, N. J.

More Film

  • Too Old to Die Young

    Cannes: 2019 Lineup Includes Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodóvar, Four Films by Women

    The 72nd Cannes Film Festival unveiled its lineup, boosting the number of female filmmakers in official selection to 13 — four of which will compete for the Palme d’Or, the highest number since 2011. Additionally, new movies by Pedro Almodóvar and American directors Terrence Malick and Ira Sachs join Elton John biopic “Rocketman” and the [...]

  • Cannes Unveils 2019 Official Selection (Watch

    Watch Cannes Lineup Announcement (Updating Live)

    The 72nd Cannes Film Festival is announcing the films chosen for “official selection” — including those competing for the event’s coveted Palme d’Or prize — in a press conference Thursday starting at 11 a.m. in Paris. The livestream of the press conference is available here. (Please note that the broadcast seldom starts on time.) Last [...]

  • Godzilla

    'Godzilla' Owner Toho Poised for Expansion in Hollywood

    Toho, the largest movie group in Japan, is expanding a subsidiary in the U.S. with a view to working more with Hollywood. The company said that its existing Toho International Inc. subsidiary has been injected with $14 million (JPY15.4 billion), through a share issue subscribed to by the parent company. The subsidiary has existed since [...]

  • View Conference Opens Registration for 2019

    2019 View Conference Opens Registration, Calls for Short Film Competition Entries

    Registration is now open for the 2019 edition of the View Conference in Turin, Italy. No speakers have been announced yet, but past conferences have featured some of the world’s top creative talents in visual effects, animation, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. Last year’s edition featured composer Hans Zimmer, Paramount Animation topper [...]

  • Former professional boxer Bradley Welsh in

    Bradley Welsh, 'T2 Trainspotting' Actor, Shot Dead in Edinburgh

    Bradley Welsh, an actor in “T2 Trainspotting” and a former boxer, died after being shot in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Wednesday. He was 42. The Edinburgh Police Division reported an incident on Chester Street in Edinburgh’s West End neighborhood around 8 p.m. local time. They found Welsh seriously injured in the street and said he died [...]

  • Jim Gallagher Warner Bros

    Jim Gallagher Joins Warner Bros. as EVP of Marketing, Animation and Family

    Former head of DreamWorks Animation theatrical marketing Jim Gallagher has joined Warner Bros. Pictures in a newly created role as executive vice president of marketing, animation and family, announced today by Blair Rich, president of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Gallagher will develop innovative and strategic global campaigns for [...]

  • Timothy Olyphant Luke Perry

    Timothy Olyphant Recalls Working With Luke Perry on 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

    Luke Perry’s last role will be in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and his co-star Timothy Olyphant got a front-row seat to the late actor’s final performance. Perry, who died this March after suffering a massive stroke, had completed all of his scenes in the upcoming film prior to his sudden death. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content